The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) is implementing a new set of advertising standards that will block gambling advertisements from most live sports broadcasts. It’s the latest broadside in the country’s long-running discussion/controversy over the impact of gambling advertisements on children and it certainly won’t be the last.

Under the terms of the new rules, as reported on by Mumbrella, all advertising for sportsbooks and gambling operators will be banned during live sporting events that are aired between the hours of 5 a.m. a:30nd 8 p.m. (Do Australian children actually go to bed that early?) The rules are relatively thorough and specifically bar gambling ads from airing five minutes before or after the broadcast. They also include stipulations that prevent the ads from running during unscheduled breaks.

An exception to the rule is being made for events that air on channels with 0.5 percent, or lower, audience share. That exemption does not apply if the event airs on any Fox Sports channel or if the event is of national significance.

Media industry trade groups like Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) took exception to the new standards saying that they aren’t being applied to all media. CRA CEO Joan Warner explained the group’s position saying:

The industry has taken community concerns about gambling on board and our members are implementing measures to ensure they comply with the new rules when they come into force…We are concerned that similar restrictions for online platforms have not yet been put in place.

Regardles of the CRA’s concerns, the policy is set to take effect on March 30.


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